Saturday, October 24, 2015

Opinions and Perspectives



The great Roman soldier and orator Marcus Aurelius (born 121, died 180) has left us with an enduring pearl of wisdom which deserves widest possible dissemination.

"Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth."

The sketch above illustrates the reality of this wisdom. Both people are reporting what they see, but which one of them is "right"? And what does it matter?
In our quest for certainty and reliability in turbulent times, we forget that life itself is a teeming sea of opinions and perspectives and desperate best guesses. Though it is often difficult, let us take a breath and consider that someone else's opinions and perspectives may be equally valid. 
Uncertainty does not necessarily make us less safe. We must all continue the struggle of life. In fact, too much surety about our situation may actually be counter-productive. The ability to tolerate uncertainty makes us more resilient.